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Preview: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology Basic Immunology and Pathology

Journal of the American Society of Nephrology Basic Immunology and Pathology

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Inhibition of Toll-Like Receptor-7 (TLR-7) or TLR-7 plus TLR-9 Attenuates Glomerulonephritis and Lung Injury in Experimental Lupus


Small nuclear RNA and associated lupus autoantigens activate B cells and dendritic cells via Toll-like receptor-7 (TLR-7); therefore, TLR-7 may represent a potential therapeutic target in lupus. MRL lpr mice were administered an injection of either saline or synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides with immunoregulatory sequences (IRS) that specifically block signaling via TLR-7 (IRS 661) or via TLR-7 and TLR-9 (IRS 954, which uses a active sequence from IRS 661 along with a TLR-9 inhibitory sequence) from weeks 11 to 24 of age. IRS 661 and IRS 954 both significantly reduced the weight of spleen and lymph nodes as well as serum levels of TNF as compared with saline-treated MRL lpr mice. Only IRS 661 but not IRS 954 significantly reduced serum levels of IL-12p40, anti-dsDNA IgG2a, IgG2b, and anti-Smith IgG. Both IRS localized to the kidney after intraperitoneal injection and significantly improved the activity index and chronicity index for lupus nephritis in MRL lpr mice. This was associated with significant reduction of renal glomerular and interstitial macrophage infiltrates and the number of interstitial T cells. Autoimmune lung injury was also attenuated with IRS 661 and IRS 954. These data demonstrate that TLR-7 antagonism, initiated after the onset of autoimmunity, can prevent autoimmune kidney and lung injury in MRL lpr mice. Concomitant blockade of TLR-9 with IRS 954 neutralized the effect of TLR-7 blockade on dsDNA IgG2a, dsDNA IgG2b, and Smith antigen autoantibodies but had neither additive nor opposing effects on autoimmune lung and kidney injury. Hence, TLR-7 is proposed as a novel and potential therapeutic target in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Toll-Like Receptor 4 Ligation on Intrinsic Renal Cells Contributes to the Induction of Antibody-Mediated Glomerulonephritis via CXCL1 and CXCL2


Autoimmune diseases such as glomerulonephritis are exacerbated by infection. This study examined the effect of the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligand lipid A on the development of heterologous nephrotoxic nephritis. Administration of nephrotoxic antibody resulted in significant glomerular neutrophil infiltration and albuminuria only when a TLR4 ligand was administered simultaneously. The contribution of TLR4 on renal cells and circulating leukocytes was assessed. Bone marrow chimeras were constructed with TLR4 only on renal cells or bone marrow–derived cells. The administration of nephrotoxic serum and lipid A caused a neutrophil influx in both chimeric groups greater than in sham chimeras that were totally TLR4 deficient but significantly less than in sham chimeras that were totally TLR4 sufficient. Both chimeric groups had greater albuminuria than totally TLR4-deficient sham chimeras; however, the chimeras with TLR4 only on intrinsic renal cells had significantly less than the sham positive group. In situ hybridization showed expression of TLR4 mRNA in mesangial cells and glomerular epithelial cells. For investigation of the potential mechanism by which renal cells could contribute to disease exacerbation, mesangial cells were cultured and found to express mRNA for TLR4, and stimulation of wild-type and TLR4-deficient mesangial cells with LPS caused production of CXC chemokines by wild-type cells only. Treatment of chimeras with TLR4 present only on intrinsic renal cells with anti-CXCL1 and anti-CXCL2 antibody before disease induction significantly reduced renal neutrophil infiltration. These results show that TLR4 on both circulating leukocytes and intrinsic renal cells contributes to the inflammatory effects of antibody deposition within the glomerulus, which depends at least in part on the production of CXC chemokines by intrinsic renal cells.